Woman Looking at Ceiling with Magnifying Glass

Could Your Next CEO Come from Any Department?

How do you view each department in your organization? Do you value operations, maintenance, customer service, engineering, information technology, sales, finance, marketing, accounting – all departments, equally?

Woman Looking at Ceiling with Magnifying GlassIn Good to Great, Jim Collins explains the best CEOs are not external hires, but brought up through internal development. Therefore, your organization is best served by looking across the entire company for future leaders. Yet, most organizations have a bias toward one department or the other.

We often hear others say, this is an “engineering run company”, or this is a “sales run company”. In these organizations, engineering or sales are typically the grooming grounds for leadership. If you come from another department, there’s a ceiling to your growth potential.

As a servant leader, your role is to serve all stakeholders. Your service to investors requires that you look for the best successors in leadership roles. Your service to employees requires that you value the potential of people in all divisions. So the next time you think about your future CEO, ask yourself, could this person come from any division? The answer could be very telling about who you serve.

Question: Could your next CEO come from any department? You can leave a comment here.


Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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